I don’t know about you, but I can’t tell you how good I feel today. The air was a little sweeter, the sun a little brighter, the sky a little bluer, the coffee a little coffeer…ahem.
Anyhoo, OUR LONG NATIONAL NIGHTMARE IS OVER! The House and Senate took action to end the government shutdown and extended the debt ceiling. In a stunning show of bi-partisanship, our tireless public servants gave us…EXACTLY WHAT WE ALREADY HAD! Number of new problems solved? Exactly zero. I was going to say something pithy like “it’s better than a sharp stick in the eye” but, I’m not so sure.
I was pondering this last night while spending time in my personal godswood…our relationship with or elected leaders is like that between a little sibling (us) and a big brother (them).
As I’m an only child, I will use as a siblings frame of reference every 70’s and 80’s sitcom I watched as a kid. Congress is the Greg to our Peter Brady. Congress is the Theo to our Rudy Huxtable. Congress is the Alex, to our Mallory Keaton. In a simpler time, we could count on Congress to take us out for ice cream. We knew that Congress would be willing to play catch with us in the backyard. We always knew that Congress would thump on us a little, but get our back if we came a-cropper of a bully. That was the Congress of our parents and grandparents. Today, the relationship is a whole lot different.
If what we’ve seen from Congress the last few years is any indication, our big brother has moved into our parents’ basement and has trouble holding a job. Worse than that, it seems like our big brother’s been spending a lot of time getting drunk and picking fights--really, really expensive fights. Our problem is that we keep sticking up for our wayward sibling. We
tell ourselves that he’ll get it together in a couple of years. We are even willing to go as far as giving him a good talking-to, but for the most part we tolerate his behavior. Not that we haven’t learned our lesson—at least a bit. We know Congress is always going to be there to help us move a couch, or fill an empty spot in our fantasy football league, but we sure aren’t going to trust him with the keys to our car, or ask him to watch our pets when we go out of town.
It’s time for an intervention. We need to tell Congress that it’s in a safe place, that we still love it, but it can’t behave like this anymore. It’s time for Congress to put down the
remote, take off the sweatpants, put on some slacks, and to get the job done.